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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

July 2017 Free
Vicar: Canon Andrew Bunch, 01865 510460
The Vicarage, Church Walk, Oxford OX2 6LY
Associate Priest: Revd Tom Albinson 01865 515409 or 07426 948251
Lay Minister: David Longrigg, 23 Norham Rd, Oxford OX2 6SF 01865 557879
Benefice Manager: Henrietta Mountain-Ritter 01865 512319
10 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT
Maureen Chu 01865 726011
Joanne Russell 01865 760788
Acting Treasurer: Rod Nixon
Organist: Andrew Patterson
Choir Director: Nicholas Prozzillo
PCC Secretary: Sarah-Jane White
Captain of the Bells: John Pusey
Church Flowers: Mary Whitlock
Benefice Secretary: Anne Dutton
Twitter @StGilesOxford
Instagram stgileschurch
Sunday: 8:00 am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:30 am Holy Communion
6:30 pm Evensong (BCP)
Monday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Tuesday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Wednesday: 12:30 pm Eucharist
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Thursday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Friday: 1:15 pm Taizé Worship
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Saturday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer

Parish News is free, but if you wish to put a donation in the wall safe to
help towards production costs this would be much appreciated. Please
send any items for inclusion in the August edition to secretary@st- by Monday 24th July 2017.

Well-known hymns (5) – Jerusalem the Golden Page 3
Crabby Old Lady – sent in by Stella Boswell Page 4
Reflection on the Lent Groups – Siân Grønlie Page 5
Concert Review: Nicholas Prozzillo – Andrew Sillit Page 7
The Men Behind the Names (1) – Alison Bickmore Page 8
Concert Review: The Arcadian Singers – Andrew Sillit Page 10
John Elkin (1779-1845) – Ross Cook Page 11
Bells as Music – John Pusey Page 12
St Swithun, Bishop Page 14
St Giles’ Magazine 100 Years Ago and 50 Years Ago Page 15
Dates for your Diary, July 2017 Page 16


J ERUSALEM the Golden is a 19th-century hymn by John Mason
Neale, taken from Neale’s translation of a section of Bernard of
Cluny’s 3,000 line Latin verse satire, De Contemptu Mundi. The hymn is
most often sung to the tune Ewing, composed by Alexander Ewing for
the Aberdeen Harmonic Choir for use with For Thee, O Dear, Dear
Country, another hymn derived from Neale’s translation of De
Contemptu Mundi. The score first appeared in 1853 as a leaflet. In 1857
it was included in A Manual of Psalm and Hymn Tunes and it was
published in 1861 in Hymns Ancient and Modern. For this publication
the editor, William Henry Monk, changed the metre from triple to duple
and used it for the tune of Jerusalem the Golden. In his notes to the third
edition of Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences in 1867, Neale remarked
that Ewing’s tune was “the earliest written, the best known, and with
children the most popular” for use with Jerusalem the Golden.

(This poem has been sent in by Stella Boswell, who received it from a
friend via the internet.)

W HAT do you see, Nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes.
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe.
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, Nurse; you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another.
A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet.
A bride soon, at twenty - my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide; a secure happy home.

A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty once more babies play round my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me; my husband is dead;
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old woman and nature is cruel;
’Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years - all too few, gone too fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, Nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman: look closer - see ME!

C OMING from an evangelical background, my experience of reading
the Bible was one of earnest studiousness, ready armed with study
Bible, concordance, and two disarmingly simple questions: ‘What did it
mean then?’ and ‘How does it apply to me now’? No doubt these are
important questions to ask, but as I grew up, the answers seemed
increasingly unsure.
When I came back to the Bible, a couple of years ago, I struggled
to know what to do with it. As an academic, I had all sorts of intellectual
queries – how can we know whether this really happened? What are
the literary conventions governing the text? On a more profound level,
I just couldn’t get to grips with the unfamiliarity of biblical culture, the
strangeness of the language, and the distance that separates now from
then. Embarrassingly, for an English tutor, I simply didn’t know how to
read it.
Although we can’t (and shouldn’t) switch off our minds when we
turn to the Bible, our Lent group – my first – tried out a different
approach, turning up not with study Bibles, concordances and
commentaries but with our own very different experiences of life. The
passages spoke of life events to which we could all relate – getting lost
as a child; parting from a close friend; struggling to forgive or to be
forgiven; experiencing the death of a loved one; facing a crisis of faith. I
found that some of these passages were transformed by hearing about

the experiences of others. At our first meeting, we talked about the
passage in Luke 2 when Jesus gets lost in Jerusalem and is later found in
the Temple. We were full of questions – why is this infancy story in the
Gospel? How could Jesus be so callous to His parents? Is He behaving
like a child here or does He know He’s divine? We laughed over stories
about how we had lost our children in variously improbable places (the
papal palace in Avignon!). It was only towards the end of the discussion
that we started to realize that Jesus is not in fact ‘lost’ in this story at all
– He is in His ‘Father’s house’, where we too are invited to be. The
experience of feeling lost and disorientated helped me to understand
how turning to God is about coming home. I left that night having
understood something in the passage that I hadn’t seen before.

Perhaps the most moving meeting for me was the one where we
talked about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. We were
few in number that week and rather subdued. I’ve always found this
passage difficult to cope with – I can understand rationally how the
raising of Lazarus foreshadows Jesus’ resurrection; I can see how the line
‘Jesus wept’ shows that He shares in our human nature. Yet the
resuscitation of Lazarus’s corpse has always struck a macabre note for
me – and how can this passage help in any way with grief when it centres
around an impossibility: the dead returning to the living, as if we could
long our loved one back to life? Yet, as we talked, I started to see other
ways in which this passage speaks to our experiences, how Jesus calls to
us in darkness and despair: ‘Lazarus, come out’. We all have these dark,
lonely places in our lives, but Jesus calls us out, calls us back to life, back
to those who love us, back to Him. The anger and irritation I had initially
felt with the passage changed dramatically as I listened to what others
could hear and see in it.
This way of reading the Bible is very different from the one I
grew up with: it is not about making an intellectual effort to understand,
so much as about listening to the text, staying with it, letting it speak to
us, whether in our silence and solitude or within the safety of a small
group setting. We decided that this is surely too good to be confined to
the season of Lent – and we are all looking forward to meeting again
soon. We welcome others!
Siân Grønlie


O N Saturday 3rd June 2017, St Giles’ was the grateful beneficiary of
a feast for the ears in the form of an organ recital expertly delivered
by the church’s very own Choir Director, Dr Nicholas Stefano Prozzillo.
On the menu were the five constituent parts of the fifth of Charles Marie
Widor’s ten Symphonies for Organ.
This Symphony is, without doubt, best known for its concluding
Toccata - a favourite accompaniment to wedding ceremonies up and
down the country (this reviewer was, indeed, lucky enough to have had
Nicholas play this piece at his own nuptials in the summer). This recital
gave the church’s 40-strong audience
the opportunity to appreciate this old
chestnut in its proper context. Nobody
would deny that a Shakespearean
soliloquy would lose a great deal of its
potency if it were removed from the
play in which it was delivered; just so
was the vivacity and bombast of the
fifth movement lent depth and nuance
when experienced in the wake of the
four preceding pieces.
Most striking was the variety
served up by Monsieur Widor: a playful
first movement of increasingly intricate
variations on a tune; a virtuoso exercise reminiscent of a lyrical clarinet
concerto; a fast-paced third movement which saw the organist’s feet
getting as much of a workout as his hands; a quiet and reflective fourth
act, meanwhile, allowed one to truly experience the inescapable sense
of joy inherent in the Symphony’s final Toccata.
An organist, of course, is nothing without his instrument, and
while it was impossible not to be carried away by this performance, it
was difficult not to be put in mind of Ayrton Senna racing a Ford Escort
around Monaco. Never fear, however, for this concert was raising funds
for Project 900 which, among other things, will help to provide St Giles’
Church with an organ befitting the musical talent contained within its
four walls! Andrew Sillit, St Giles’ Choir


L AST year in Parish News (Nov 2016), I contributed a short article
about the background and context of the St Giles’ brass war
memorial. As the hundredth anniversary of the death of each man
commemorated has come round, the display board to the right of the
memorial has been giving biographical details, adding some meaning to
the prosaic list of names and dates engraved on the memorial.
The 18 men commemorated are, of course, forever linked by the
common cause they died for and by the memorial itself, but are there
other kinds of links that may help us, today, to think of them as real
people - living and dying in a world so very different from our own?
In this and subsequent Parish News articles I want to look at the
lives of each of our 18 men and suggest some links which are not
revealed by the formal list of names and dates. But the search for links
begins with an emphasis on diversity. Despite the small number of St
Giles’ names – only 18 - (many memorials carry tens or hundreds of
names), there seem to be as many differences as similarities.
 None of the men were related – (Francis Hudson was not
related to Alban Hudson).
 Different religious denominations are included - they were
not all “C of E”. There was a Methodist (Frederick Skinner) and

a Roman Catholic (Francis Slay) and one was Jewish (Victor
Jessel). Over the matter of local and church war memorials,
each community set its own criteria for inclusion: living, or
family living, within the parish but not necessarily being an
active member of the congregation seems to have been
“qualification” at St Giles’.
 Ten were single men; eight were married, six of whom had
children. The St Giles’ Registers record the marriages of Roger
Cholmeley in 1896, Reginald Webster in 1914, David Bickmore
in 1915; and the baptisms of the children of John Bywater-Ward
in 1910, of Frederick Hastings in 1914 and 1916, of Reginald
Webster in 1915 and 1916.
 Eight started work straight from school. (Schooling was only
compulsory up to the age of 12 until 1918.)
 Ten were public school and/or university educated, and, more
specifically at Oxford University – not surprising considering the
location of the parish within Oxford. This also accounts for the
high proportion of officers compared with other ranks.
 Twelve different pre-war occupations are represented –
including a school teacher (Frederick Skinner), a bank clerk
(Harry Robinson), a clergyman (Thomas George), a university
lecturer (Roger Cholmeley), a bootmaker (Christopher
Choldcroft), a research physicist (Henry Moseley), a hotel porter
(Frederick Hastings), a lawyer (Reginald Hodgson), a tailor
(Francis Hudson), a shop assistant (Reginald Webster) and an
officer in the Royal Navy (John Bywater-Ward).
 Two were professional soldiers, 16 were volunteers; and 15
different regiments or services are represented.
 Two were under 20 when they died (Arthur Baker and
Leonard Bennett); two were over 45 (Thomas George and Roger
Cholmeley); nine were in their twenties; five in their thirties.
In subsequent articles I plan to divide our 18 men into groups of
three or four, and for each group suggest themes that may help us to
think of those men as individuals - real people living lives so abruptly and
prematurely ended a hundred years ago. Alison Bickmore


T HE week enfolding Saturday 10th June was a very busy one -
elections, University exams, Britain’s Got Talent ... As such, the
weekend proved a popular choice for those offering musical
refreshment to Oxford’s bustling denizens. Against a background of no
fewer than half a dozen choral concerts, St Giles’ had the honour and
pleasure of hosting the Arcadian Singers’ traditional summer
Smörgåsbord of madrigals.
The Arcadian Singers, founded in 1976 to sate Oxford’s titanic
appetite for madrigal choirs, are no strangers to St Giles’: the Arcadians’
inspiring director, James Morley Potter, was preceded in his role by this
church’s own former organ scholar, Tomos Watkins; while two of its
current members have sung and toured with the St Giles’ choir.
The programme split into two halves, demonstrating both the
variety to be found within this musical genre and the degree to which it

has evolved and metamorphosed in the 500 years covered by this
ambitious and brilliantly realized programme. The first half of the
concert took the sizeable audience on a tour of the traditional early
modern madrigals of the 1500s and 1600s, encompassing Monteverdi’s
playful secular antidotes to his sacred music and a number of English
composers whose madrigals will be familiar to anyone who has got to
the foot of Magdalen tower at dawn on May Day.
The second half of the concert brought us forward to the 20th and
21st century. While many tropes and traditions of the madrigal could be
detected in the works of Pauls Hindemith and Mealor, and Philip Glass,
the contemporary edge to these compositions succeeded in recapturing
some of the excitement and joy that must have been felt by the original
audiences of the composers from the first half of the programme.
The Arcadian Singers generously donated the profits from this
concert to St Giles’ Project 900, and this reviewer is certainly not alone
in hoping that this won’t be the last time this talented group of young
singers graces our church. Andrew Sillit
JOHN ELKIN (1779-1845)
The following is contributed by a recent Australian visitor to St Giles’
(from Brisbane), who was in England to research his family history.

J OHN Elkin, the youngest child of Thomas Elkin and Margaret Cotton,
was born at Baswich near Stafford in July 1779. Thomas’s three sons
became wheelwrights but, when John married Jane Ellidge at Baswich in
1803, John and Jane moved to Oxford to start a business of making and
repairing barges. These boats were used on the Oxford canal, an
important artery of trade between the English Midlands and London.
Between 1804 and 1821, John and Jane had their 10 children baptised
at St Giles’ Church, Oxford. This included two sets of twins, Thomas and
Richard (baptised October 1812), and Henry and Harriet (baptised June
1817). Harriet is my Great Great Grandmother.
Sadly, John’s eldest brother, Richard, died in 1811. His wife,
Hannah, was the sister of John’s wife, Jane, so John and Jane took in
some of Richard’s children to look after them. The eldest son, Richard,
who was 13 when his father died, worked in John’s boat-building

business and John was a witness at his wedding at St Giles’ on 28th
December 1819. John was also a witness at his niece, Mary’s, wedding
at St Giles’ in December 1827. Elizabeth was also married at St Giles’, in
December 1830.
As was common in those days, John’s first two children, Mary and
Richard, were young infants when they died and they are buried at St
Giles’. Another daughter, Elizabeth, was 21 when she died in 1831 and
she is also buried at St Giles’. John’s father, Thomas Elkin, moved from
Baswich to join John and was buried at St Giles’ in January 1828.
John’s business was located at Mr Ward’s Dock in Walton Well and
he remained there for many years. His nephew, Richard, was working
there in 1836 when his son was born. John’s family lived in Jericho and
he trained his sons in the boat-building business, too. In 1826, John was
pulling a boat up onto the wharf to work on it when the horse he was
using to pull it up jumped and jerked the steel rope, cutting off two
fingers and the tip of the third on John’s right hand. This must have
made his work very difficult from then on, but he was able to continue.
In about 1836, the whole family moved to Reading to continue building
boats for the Kennet and Avon Canal.
When John died at Reading in 1845, the railways were beginning
to make the canals obsolete for transport. Despite this, John’s sons were
able to continue the barge-building business and in the early 1850s,
William, Henry and George moved to London to continue their work
there. John (junior) migrated in 1852 to Hobart Town, Tasmania,
Australia to work as a shipwright. Harriet married Thomas Lovejoy in
Caversham in 1836, and three of their children moved to Queensland,
Australia. I am the Great Grandson of Frederick William Lovejoy.
Ross Cook

“W HAT more glorious, loud and public music is there than the
sound of bells ringing changes?” asked the Director of BBC
Radio, inviting participation in the third annual BBC Music Day on 15th
June – “a celebration of the power of music in all its glorious forms”. We
are pleased to say that all eight of St Giles’ bells were rung that day,
starting at 7 pm as requested, although it had been something of a

struggle for us to find enough ringers. Our ringing wasn’t actually
broadcast, but the BBC sent us thanks: “We had a fantastic response –
were thrilled that bells across the globe were ringing out in unity – a true
illustration of the Power of Music”. Items relating to bells as far afield
as New Zealand and Zimbabwe were broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 4 and 6,
and some can still be heard and seen on the Bells on Sunday website at:
Ringing changes on bells swung full circle is certainly an unusual
form of music (and, to be frank, it is often not performed very well), and
some are even reluctant to consider it as music. Church bells are not
intended to be combined with other musical instruments, and in fact the
St Giles’ bells are almost half a semitone out of tune with standard pitch
- about as far out as they could be. However, their re-tuning in 2011
considerably improved what mattered to ringers – both the harmonic
qualities of the individual bells, and the relative musical intervals
between them – and should never need to be repeated.
Each ringer rings one bell, and cannot control the pitch or even
the volume of its sound – and the method and composition of each piece
of ringing is largely determined in advance by the ringing master or
conductor, from what is usually a very limited range of options. Also,
only just enough acceleration or delay can be reliably produced to allow
two bells which were sounding one after the other at one stroke to
sound in the reverse order at the next stroke. What most of the
individual ringers must concentrate on is making their bell sound at
exactly the right position in each change, and the precision and
continuity of the overall rhythm, when achieved, is what gives the
experienced ringer the greatest satisfaction. But this requires a lot of
practice and concentration. A bell swung full-circle sounds once every
two seconds or so, but the sound is produced more than a second after
the moment of control. Together with the number of other bells being
rung, this puts off some learners from even trying to pick out the position
in the sequence where their bell should be sounding, which they need
to do so that they can judge whether it has been correctly placed.
Subject to the requirement that each bell can only move a step
earlier or later in the sequence at each stroke, change-ringers aim to
‘ring the changes’, i.e. to produce the maximum of variety, by making

each change as different as possible from the one it follows, and, if time
allows, by ringing all of the possible changes on a particular number of
bells before any exact repetition occurs. This would take about one
minute if only four bells are changing, but five minutes on five bells, half
an hour on six bells, etc. Nevertheless, certain melodic effects can be
selected – and others avoided. In much of our ringing, the lowest-
pitched (heaviest and loudest) bell is always sounded last, and this
makes it much easier for a listener to count how many bells are being
rung. Even when the heaviest bell is being ‘turned in’ (included among
the changing bells), a slight gap before the start of every other change
indicates when the changes begin and end, and also draws attention to
the tune produced by the last few bells to strike in each change. It is
almost always arranged that the heaviest and next-heaviest bell never
sound in reverse order immediately before the gap; in most of the
changes produced in the simplest version of most methods the interval
between the last two notes is at most a third (two steps on the musical
scale) for the majority of the changes; and the last two or three bells to
sound in one change sometimes repeat the pattern sounded two
changes earlier, producing an effect like rhymes between alternate lines
of verse.
John Pusey
St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain.
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair, for 40 days ’twill rain nae mare.

S WITHUN was bishop of Winchester from 852 until his death in 862,
and seems to have been the trusted adviser of King Egbert of
Wessex. He had asked to be buried “humbly” and his request was
fulfilled. However, when a new cathedral was built, Bishop Ethelwold
decided to place Swithun’s remains in a shrine, despite dire warnings
that to move the bones would bring about terrible storms. Swithun was
duly translated on 15th July 971 and, though many cures were claimed
and other miracles observed, it apparently rained for 40 days, as
forecast. Thus the feast-day of Swithun became synonymous with long,
summer storms, rather than as an occasion for celebrating Christian
simplicity and holiness.
(Source: Exciting Holiness)

100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, July 1917
The Choir: The senior members of the Choir have determined to give up
their outing this year, and to devote the collections on July 8th, as last year,
to the Prisoners of War Fund. This will be in place of the annual collection
for the Choir Fund by which the congregation has an opportunity of
shewing appreciation of the voluntary services of the Choir. It has become
doubly hard to keep up the standard of our Church music with our
members so much reduced by the war, and our gratitude to those who
are left should be in proportion to the difficulties of their task.
Empire Day: The celebration of Empire Day at St Giles’ School was a great
success. A large number of parents, friends, and old girls were present.
Scenes from The Merchant of Venice were acted with remarkable
excellence by some of the elder girls, and dances and songs completed an
enjoyable programme. The sale of paintings, flowers, etc., realised (after
paying expenses), £1 12s 6d, of which £1 was given to the Prisoners of War
Fund, and 12s 6d to the Red Cross.
50 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, July 1967
Vicar’s Letter: “Billy’s Back” – so say the posters and I am often asked
whether I welcome his return. The answer is of course yes. There is not
likely to be complete agreement about either the content or the method
of Dr Graham’s evangelistic methods and there is nothing surprising in this
since he is an American Baptist. But he sets before thousands of people
the reality of God’s love in Christ for all men and he speaks to many who
have for long been strangers to the covenant. Pray that his words may
move people whom you and I fail completely to reach. This surely we
must do, and we must think of Dr Graham as one who speaks on our
behalf as a “member of Christ” about “the strength of our salvation” for
which we thank God every Sunday morning of our lives at Mattins. I must
say that I have not arranged to hear him preach myself because if his
message is, as I believe it to be, aimed at the conversion of men to Christ
it should not have anything to say to me. This is not arrogance but fact,
since you and I are living “in Christ” through prayer and sacrament and the
fellowship and teaching of His Body the Church. But for those who are not
doing this Billy Graham may be indeed an instrument of Christ to save
persons who are perishing for want of the Gospel. Our evangelistic
outreach is naturally much less sensational and spectacular, as you would
expect from a typical Anglican congregation. But it is none the less real
and dare I say desperately important.

Sunday 25th June The Second Sunday after Trinity
Monday 26 June
7:30 pm The Potter and the Clay: talk by
Andrew Hazelden at St Giles’ Church
Thursday 29th June Ss Peter and Paul
6:15 pm Friendship Walk from Richmond Road
Sunday 2nd July The Third Sunday after Trinity
7:45 pm Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak
Saturday 8th July
2:30 pm Peal Attempt at St Giles’
Sunday 9th July The Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Sunday 16th July The Fifth Sunday after Trinity
Friday 21 July-
Wednesday 26th July St Giles’ Choir tour to Northern Italy
Sunday 23rd July The Sixth Sunday after Trinity
Sunday 30 July The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

25th June (The Second Sunday after Trinity): Jeremiah 20:7-13;
Psalm 69:14-20; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39
2nd July 2017 (The Third Sunday after Trinity): Jeremiah 28:5-9;
Psalm 89:8-18; Romans 6:12-end; Matthew 10:40-end
9th July (The Fourth Sunday after Trinity): Zechariah 9:9-12;
Psalm 145:8-15; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
16th July (The Fifth Sunday after Trinity): Isaiah 55:10-13; Psalm 65;
Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
23rd July (The Sixth Sunday after Trinity): Wisdom 12:13, 16-19;
Psalm 86:11-end; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
30th July (The Seventh Sunday after Trinity): 1 Kings 3:5-12;
Psalm 119:129-136; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-35